New features in the December 2017 update of Power BI Desktop
Part four of a six-part series of blogs

Field descriptions anyone? This is a fairly minor update, although we like responsive horizontal slicers, and there are some exciting things coming up in preview mode.

  1. December 2017 Updates
  2. Field descriptions
  3. Scatter charts now compare numerical values
  4. Responsive slicers (this blog)
  5. Drilling down filters all visuals for a page
  6. Undocumented new features

For a cumulative list of all of the updates to Power BI Desktop in the last few months, see this blog.  Our two-day Power BI Desktop course always uses the latest version of the software.

Posted by Andy Brown on 04 January 2018

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Responsive slicers

To understand what responsive slicers are, consider what they're not:

Resizing a normal slicer

When you resize a normal horizontal slicer, the buttons just get bigger.

I've created a fairly standard horizontal slicer above, but when I resize it, I lose buttons:

Slicer resized

The same slicer resized: now I have to scroll right to see Shopping Park.

 

You can now set a Responsive property for a slicer to change this behaviour:

Responsive property

Enable this property to change the way that slicers resize (this property is only available for horizontal slicers).

 

Now when you resize a slicer, you get more rows and keep the buttons:

Responsive resizing

This slicer is exactly the same size as the one above, but Power BI Desktop is adjusting the number of rows and columns as you resize it.

 

I would argue that this isn't a truly responsive slicer, since when you publish a report to Power BI Service the look and feel of the slicer doesn't alter as you resize your browser window.

Responsive slicers for mobile phones

One additional point worth making is what happens when you add a responsive slicer to mobile view:

Enabling phone layout

You can add a responsive slicer to phone layout.

 

You can drag a responsive slicer onto your phone layout:

Responsive slicer

Here the slicer looks fairly normal.

However, when you resize the slicer beyond a certain point, it changes appearance to a filter icon:

Slicer as filter icon

When viewing this report on a mobile phone, you can click on this slicer to choose (here) the centre type.

 

Although this sounds a good idea, in practice it's not quite as smooth as I'd hoped (having just tried it in an IPhone) - you have to choose to Expand to focus mode, which is disappointing. 

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